Alert! The final winner on the last night of a week chock-full of literary awards (beginning with the Sunday Times’ splashy do on 24 July) ended with first-time novelist James Clelland claiming the 6th European Union Literary Award, for his unpublished manuscript, Deeper than Colour.
To those with a sensitive ear, EU Literary Award judge Craig Mackenzie’s short but powerful reading from the novel at the ceremony tipped the odds toward Clelland before the official announcement. The writer wins R25 000, publication by Jacana Media and inclusion in next year’s Exclusive Books Homebru promotion. You can find this year’s shortlist here.
Clelland, who is South African but speaks with a strong Scots accent (and not Irish as I originally tweeted), was delighted, even overwhelmed as he took the podium. “I agree with last year’s winner that the award gives one a strong sense of validation,” he said.
As this is being posted to you live from the event, it’s where we’ll conclude. See BOOK SA @ Twitter for coverage of the event as it unfolded.
More pics to follow tomorrow!